Things I LOVE using in my business

March 9, 2020

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Episode Transcript

You are listening to episode 19 of the Level Up Your Wedding Film Business Podcast. I am all about finding new tools to help me grow and run my business efficiently. So today, I’m sharing some of my favorite things I use in my wedding videography business.

I’m your host, Taylor Petrinovich, and at the core of this show I want you to feel inspired to take your business to the next level, and I want to give you tools and practical advice to help you along the way. Let’s Level-Up together.

If you’re on my email list, a few weeks ago you probably received an email from me about the 5 Apps and Programs I love using in my business. If you’re not on my email list, and want some extra tips, information, or inspiration from me on a weekly basis, you can sign up for it now – I will link it in the shownotes. Or you can visit my website thelevelupco.com and sign up there. I promise, I won’t spam you. I only send out 1 email per week.

Or, if you’re reading this blog post, you can sign up for the email list here:

Anyways, I got some great feedback from that email, so today I want to share with you the things I use in my business that I absolutely love, that I think you will love, too.

(some of the links below are affiliate links)

First, let’s talk about apps and programs.

1. Later is the app I use to schedule and publish the majority of my Instagram content. Not only does this app help me stay on top of my Insta game, but it also helps me plan out my grid. When you upload posts and drag them onto the schedule, you can see a preview of what your Instagram grid will look like. It’s a great tool to use to play around with the order of your posts to make sure your grid looks cohesive and varied.

I use the basic paid plan, which is $9/month. Unfortunately, the free version doesn’t support video posts. And since we are videographers, the vast majority of things we are posting on social media is probably in video format. So if you are interested in trying out Later, I suggest upgrading to the paid version to unlock the ability to upload videos.

2. Staying with the Instagram theme, StoryChic is an app that helps you create beautiful Instagram Stories. I love playing around with different ways I can elevate my brand and my online presence, and using this app helps my stories look on-brand. There are tons of layouts to choose from, and there’s even a lot of options in the free version.

3. Canva is my graphic design tool of choice. I’m definitely not a pro at graphic design, so Canva makes it really easy for me to design graphics to use in my biz. I use it for creating website graphics, social media graphics, and even use it to create thumbnails for my films. 

4. If you don’t already use a CRM (client relationship management), I highly recommend committing to investing in one this year. The CRM I use is Dubsado, but there are several others out there including Honeybook and 17Hats. This is where I keep all my contracts, invoices, questionnaires, client notes, calendar, and more. It’s a really powerful tool that can help streamline your business. 

5. Calendly is the most recent program I’ve been using for my business. I was finding that when I was trying to schedule phone or in-person consultations with clients, I would end up in a multi-email thread going back and forth about days and times that worked for both of us. I decided that not only did that way feel unprofessional, but it was also a bit frustrating. Calendly totally fixed that problem for me. I set my schedule within the program, and simply send clients the link. They can see my available times, and they can schedule their appointment right there within the app. It’s so much easier than going back-and-forth, and makes the entire process more streamlined.

Next, let’s talk about things I use on a wedding day.

There are 2 non-gear items that I probably wouldn’t be able to function without anymore. And they are both totally, without a doubt, dorky. 

The first one is a collapsible sports wagon. Y’all, this thing is a lifesaver. For the first 2.5 years I solo shot pretty much every single wedding, which meant I was hauling gear across venues and parking lots all by myself. This wagon is the best. I couldn’t imagine doing a wedding without it now. I throw my tripods, light stands, gear bags, everything into that wagon and just wheel it around. It’s amazing. If you don’t already use a collapsible sports wagon, do yourself a favor and order one. Like, today. It’s the best.

And the second super dorky thing I use on a wedding day is a fanny pack. And, honestly, the fanny pack I use isn’t even a cute one. It’s black, and has tons of pockets. So it’s super functional, just not cute. But I usually wear black to weddings anyways, so it kind of blends in. 

I keep an extra lens, batteries, a battery charger, my lav mics, my phone, and a memory card case in there at all times. For a while I used a satchel style bag for these things, but I didn’t like how it swung back and forth when I walked, I tended to set it down and lose track of it, and it kind of hurt my shoulder after a few hours. So, I did some research and switched to a fanny pack, and it was the best decision I ever made.

And, as a bonus, if I kick the feet out on my Ronin S, I can kind of balance it on my fanny pack when I’m not actively filming, and that makes it easier to hold. Because if you shoot with a gimbal or a glide cam all day, you know that gets pretty unbearable. 

Ok, so the next category I want to talk about is books. I never once considered myself the type of person who would enjoy reading non-fiction. I’m all about reading your standard fiction – Harry Potter, the latest post-apocalyptic young adult fiction, or murder mystery type book.

But about 6 months ago I started reading non-fiction, and I surprisingly love it. I spend the first 30 minutes of my day drinking coffee and reading, so I go through books at a pretty consistent pace. Here are some of the titles I think you guys would enjoy:

  1. I started out by reading the Rachel Hollis books. So, Girl Wash Your Face and Girl Stop Apologizing. If you’re a dude, they probably won’t be for you. But for all you ladies out there, I recommend checking those out – especially if you aren’t a huge fan of non-fiction. They are easy to read, quick, and entertaining. And, most of all – helpful.

  2. Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

  3. Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller

  4. Talk Triggers by Jay BaerDaniel Lemin

  5. Business Boutique by Christy Wright

  6. Atomic Habits by James Clear

  7. Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey

  8. Jab, jab, jab, Right hook by Gary Vaynerchuk

That’s a pretty good list to start with. The next books on my to-read list are This is Marketing by Seth Godin and Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon. Maybe if I do a part 2 to this episode I will let you know how those ones are.

And finally, I actually debated about whether or not to talk about this one. It seems kind of indirectly related to my business, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to mention it in this episode.

So, to set the stage for you guys. My filming style is pretty heavily dependent on using my Ronin S. I use it for basically the entire wedding day. When I first started out, if I’m being honest, I wasn’t strong enough to use my gimbal for a full 8-10 hours. I just couldn’t do it. My body physically couldn’t hold it much past the ceremony, after using it for the entire day leading up to that time.

Also, for the first 2 years of my business, I pretty much solo shot every single wedding I did. So that means I was solely responsible for hauling my gear all around wedding venues, and before I got that wagon I mentioned earlier, I had a hard time carrying multiple tripods and bags and whatever.

So, since I’m the kind of person that likes to take action to solve a problem, I decided that the obvious solution was to just get stronger. Pretty simple. I’m too weak to do what I want to do, so getting stronger is the only answer. That’s it.

So the final thing on this list is actually my favorite workout app, and it’s called Stronglifts. This program is really basic – it has you lift weights 3 times per week, and on each day you perform 3 exercises, and you do 5 sets of 5. On A days you do squats, bench press, and barbell row. And B days you do squat, overhead press, and deadlifts.

I’m a big fan of these compound movements, because I think they’re the most practical and translate to real-life movements the best. I’m lucky enough to have a home gym – before I met my husband he invested a lot into creating our home gym – it has a squat rack, rowing machine, pull up bar, and tons of free weights. So I just lift weights 3 times a week in the mornings after I finish my coffee. And honestly, it’s helped me a ton. I don’t feel so fatigued at the end of a wedding day anymore, and I find that holding my gimbal all day isn’t as much of a struggle anymore. So that Stronglifts app is the last item on the list for today’s episode.

And I just want to encourage you, if you struggle a bit with the heavy gear on a wedding day, try lifting some weights. It’s helped me, and it might help you, too. Just a thought.

So tell me, what are your favorite things to use in your business? Connect with me on instagram @thelevelupco and let me know.

I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. Until next time, friends, just keep pushing forward.